Christmas in Scandinavia is always especially nice for us, because in the north there is a guarantee of snow and frosty days. Here is a brief summary of the Christmas traditions in Scandinavia, including a few links from our Christmas trips.
Tomte in the sami kota
Christmas in Scandinavia – Sweden
Santa Claus: is called Tomte, the Nissen in Sweden, his helpers are very busy in the run-up and wrap the presents.
Tradition: The gift-giving ceremony takes place on 24. December takes place in the evening and the Christmas season begins on the first Sunday of Advent. In many places, the Julbock is also set up during the Christmas season. It is a billy goat made of straw, usually a large sculpture in the marketplace.
Food: "Smorgåsbord", the "Julbord" Traditional buffet with the Christmas ham and dozens of goodies, fish salad, salmon, different kinds of bread and sweets. To drink there is glogg, a kind of mulled wine, also there is the terribly sweet drink julmust
Bescherung: Santa Claus brings the presents, it is best to put a bowl of rice pudding for him in the evening so that he is happy when he comes by.
Where has nordicfamily been for Christmas in Sweden??
Christmas in Scandinavia – Finland
Santa Claus: "Joulupukki" – also translates as the Christmas goat, he has a wife Joulupuki who can make good Christmas porridge.
Tradition: There are great geometric ornaments made from straws, it is called Himmeli and hangs in the living room.
Food: Christmas ham, potato and turnip casserole, beet salad, gingerbread and louluto tour. There is also glogi, a kind of mulled wine or punch, to drink here.
presents: Santa Claus does not crawl down the chimney, but knocks on doors in the evening. When he comes in, he asks: Are there any good children here?? Onkos taalla kiltteja lapsia? Of course, he rides on a reindeer sleigh to the houses.
Where was the nordicfamily already to Christmas in Finland?
Last Christmas were in Eastern Finland Vuokatti .
Great area, where already many signs in the snow are in russian resp. Cyrillic described are.
Christmas in Scandinavia – Norway
Santa Claus: Is the Julenissen and visits the children and brings gifts.
tradition: Watching TV together on Christmas Eve is very important here. On 26. 12 is party announced, the Kidner dress up as Julebukk and demand Bonbons like at Halloween.
Food: In Norway there is like in Sweden the Julbord. Companies also invite their employees to the big diverse buffet in the pre-Christmas season.
Bescherung: If the Julenissen does not come, the gifts lie under the tree and are distributed by the youngest child present.
Where was the nordicfamily already at Christmas in Norway?
A reindeer in Iceland photographed in autumn…. Could be from Santa’s sleigh or?
Christmas in Scandinavia – Iceland
Santa Claus: In Iceland, the 13 Christmas gnomes bring the presents to the children. The first dwarf visits the children 12 days before Christmas and the 13. on Christmas Eve. The first one disappears then again on Christmas Day and so then on Epiphany the 13 dwarfs have disappeared again in the mountains.
Tradition: because of the lack of trees, people build a tree from pieces of wood and decorate it.
Food: Jolaar, the Christmas lamb is served on Christmas Eve as well as smoked meat, sausages and home-brewed beer.
Whoever finds the almond hidden in the rice porridge will be very lucky next year and even get married.
Bescherung: The dwarfs bring the presents here, not Santa Claus, although they look very much like him.
Where was the nordicfamily already at Christmas in Iceland?
Unfortunately, we have never been to Iceland in winter – although you can go skiing there.
Eva Maria Grossert writes in her blog Hidden Gem about the christmas time in Iceland – a real pleasure to read about the treacherous trolls.
Christmas in Scandinavia – Denmark
Santa: Here the nits are also Santa’s helpers.
Tradition: During Advent, a calendar candle is lit every day. Day after day it burns then a little further down. The Luciafest is just as in Sweden an important part of the Advent season.
Food: In the companies the adults get together for a Julefrukost, they drink Glogg and Danish Christmas brew (Julebryg) and eat cookies, gingerbread and Aebleskiver.
Bescherung: The living room is decorated and in the afternoon the families watch the Christmas TV program together. Then there is goose, duck or roast pork with red cabbage. Served with brown glazed potatoes. As dessert there is almond milk rice. The light Christmas beer is called Nisse oil.
Where was the nordicfamily already for Christmas in Denmark?
Although it should be quite hyggelig, we have not made it yet…. For comfort, we have linked here a small insider report on the famous Æblekage along with a recipe& thanks to the blog Meermond.
Feel free to tell us in the comments where you spent Christmas and what traditions are there – we are curious!
Other blogposts about Christmas in the north
At Scandinavia.live there are not only current live events, which bring you the north at home.
There are also always new blogposts about the north.
Here Janina writes about her experiences as a German in Norway. Of course, that’s why she has some really good insights into the traditions of the Christmas season.
In this blogpost, Ambassador for Nordic Literature Sarah writes about her longing for Finland and the Christmas traditions there. Did you know that there Santa Claus is actually a Christmas goat?